NAAAP Leadership Convention 2018

ERG SUMMIT (Aug. 23, 2018)

In our fifth year, the ERG Summit has become a leadership lab to learn best practices for ERG/BRG success, and to prepare individuals to lead their affinity groups. The summit addresses challenges and opportunities for ERG/BRG’s to attract and engage members, and to also contribute to business results for their organizations. This ERG Summit welcomes leaders, and aspiring leaders of all types of affinity groups.


(Click here for Confirmed speakers list)

9:00 AM Summit Begins: Welcome Remarks

Opening Keynote Session: ERG: Game Changers in a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

9:50 AM Workshop 1: Executive Panel: How ERGs Build Leaders & Expand the Pipeline – Senior Leaders will share how organizations execute succession planning as new ERG leaders’ transition into office.
10:55 AM Workshop 2: ERG Leaders Panel: Aligning Personal Goals with the Business – A rich discussion on how ERG leaders strategically align their ERG goals with the needs of the business.
12:00 Noon Luncheon & Speaker: Thought Leadership: Innovating the Path Forward While Continuing the Tradition.
Afternoon Sessions Two Topics and Choice of 2 sessions per Topic
1:15 PM Topic One: Intersectionality & Allyship – We’ll share & explore what it means to belong to more than one group and how to stand up for others as an Ally.
Choice 1: Panel with Subject Matter Experts sharing their personal stories on Intersectionality and how it manifests in their professional lives. Choice 2: Workshop on Allyship
2:30 Refreshment and Networking Break
2:45 Topic 2: Fostering Success – Measuring and Demonstrating Impact with ERGs – We’ll explore the importance of ERG Metrics and how to leverage these to make impact to the business.
Choice 1: Workshop led by The Coca-Cola Company on how their ERGs has been successful through focus on measuring outcomes. Choice 2: Best Practices Exchange: A facilitated discussion on what strategies ERGs find successful in measuring impact.
4:15 Closing Plenary Session: Carrying the Torch – Taking Action and Leading Next Steps
5:30 Welcome to Atlanta Reception (Heavy Hor D’oeuvres)

What is an ERG/BRG?

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups that serve as a resource for members and companies by promoting and facilitating a diverse, inclusive workplace. ERGs/BRGs are also referred to as employee networks, affinity groups, or business network groups. The purposes of ERGs/BRGs are to provide networking opportunities through a supportive community, professional development, and career trajectory. In addition, these groups are aligned with the overall company mission, values, and goals creating strategic opportunities for contributions to the bottom line.

ERGs/BRGs started as a need for traditionally underrepresented groups such as women and ethnic minorities to connect and feel more included in the work environment. The first ERG/BRG resulted from racial tensions in the 1960’s. As a result, Joseph Wilson, the CEO of Xerox, formed the first caucus group to address discrimination and to create an equitable corporate environment.

Today, ERGs/BRGs are vital to companies because they provide access to both talent and innovation. ERGs/BRGs impact talent pools by developing an internal pipeline and assisting to recruit external diverse talent. Innovation is fostered by aligning ERG/BRG goals to business goals such as launching new products or services. Additionally, ERGs/BRGs provide opportunities to connecting to diverse external communities & engage with diverse suppliers.

NAAAP’s ERG Programs

The focus of NAAAP’s ERG Relations program is to connect and engage ERG leaders across companies, NAAAP chapters, business industries, and demographics – to share ideas and practices while learning how to enhance diversity and inclusion. The two main signature events are (1) the National Leadership Academy’s ERG Leadership Symposium in February/March and (2) the ERG Summit preceding NAAAP’s Leadership Convention held every August.



  • How to promote and engage employees with ERGs
  • How to engage champions for program sustainability
  • Inclusion as a doorway of opportunity & innovation
  • ERG leadership as a great avenue to personal engagement, professional growth, and community
  • How face-to-face communication and personal relationships are critical for member engagement and leadership cultivation
  • The importance and impact of ERGs within organizations and potential partnerships with them